Sunday, January 9, 2011

Pain: That sneaky son of a gun

It's been two and a half months since Ellie was taken away. At first, it seemed like the worst pain had to be those first few days. The horror of watching our beautiful daughter struggle to stay alive, hooked up to all the machines, and seeing her body slowly betray her, seemed to be the pinnacle of the pain. How could it get any worse than that? At first the pain was raw, predictable and obvious. It was sharp and relentless. I knew it would be there and that nothing would ease it. Anyone who has a child, ever wanted one, ever met one or even has half a brain, knows that saying goodbye to your baby has to be one of the most excrutiating things you can ever face. For me, as awful as those first few weeks were, the predictability of the pain and it's severity was somewhat... good.
I expected everything to hurt- telling the doctor it was ok to stop the machines, meeting with the funeral home, picking out a cemetery plot. All of the firsts you are faced with- coming back into your home without your child, the first morning waking up and remembering the horror of the night before. The pain is so strong, forceful and overwhelming. I think that in some completely messed up way, it was comforting. It was the only thing that made sense to me. My daughter died, so the only thing I know is pain. The pain was in charge of everything. It dictated if I slept, ate, smiled, and sometimes, even if I could take a breath.
In those first days, someone who had been down this awful road said that she didn't ever want the pain to go away. She felt like it was a connection to her son. This makes total sense to me- we arrived at the hospital with our Ellie, we left with this incredible pain. The worst trade ever. But it made sense. No Ellie equals unimaginable pain.

But now, a little tiny ways down the road, the pain is still there but it's different. It's not everything I see or only thing I feel. There are some better days- I won't say good because without Ellie, how could they be "good?" Some things will still very predictably cause a rush of that raw & forceful hurt. Some things are getting easier to deal with... walking through the garage door into our house stings a little less each time.
Now, I feel like the pain is sneaky and stealth. It lays in wait, stalking me. It seems opportunistic, just waiting for a moment of weakness- knowing it's surprise attack will have a powerful effect. Things that may not have upset me before, all of a sudden produce tears. "These episodes" seem to be harder to shake, almost like it's getting harder to distract myself.
Maybe it's exhaustion.
Last night my wonderful husband arranged for a surprise birthday limo ride and dinner with our college friends. Any normal person would have been really excited. Me, I cried when the limo pulled up in the driveway. I thought, "there is no way I can go out in a limo with my friends and enjoy dinner. Ellie died. I shouldn't be allowed to do this." I did have a really good time with Dave and my friends but the whole night, I felt it. I felt the guilt. And the dread. I knew at the end of the evening, our friends would leave and we would be left with the reality of our lives. I cried myself to sleep last night. I swear my pain saw I had a good evening and took advantage of my defenses being down. All day today has been a bad day. I just keep thinking about her, what a funny, smart, amazing little girl she was and all that we are missing now.
Maybe it's the horrible realization that our pain isn't ever going away. Maybe it's knowing she won't ever be coming back.
Now I feel like it's trying to walk across a mine field. I've always wondered if it's better to tread carefully or sprint right across- never looking back... If there is no way to tell where the mine is, then does it really matter? Really, to me, neither sounds like a safe bet.
Maybe this is just how it's supposed to feel....

I miss watching our Peanut sit in her bouncy seat, sucking on her nuk, snuggling her blankie, just taking in the world around her


Jaclyn said...

Hope you dont mind stummbled across your post through another. Im so so sorry for your loss it must be devasting to carry on going when all you want to do is grieve and shut yourself away to adjust to life without your princess. I dont know if it will ever get easier but I do hope one day you start to smile again and please dont ever feel guilty for having fun your little peanut would not want that. Prayers and thoughts.

Jen said...

I found you through Faces of Loss.

I lost a baby at 7 weeks, a twin at 20 weeks and most recently a baby girl at 15+ weeks...

"Now, I feel like the pain is sneaky and stealth. It lays in wait, stalking me. It seems opportunistic, just waiting for a moment of weakness- knowing it's surprise attack will have a powerful effect."

I can relate to this...still, nine month since our most recent loss and it sneaks up and lashes its ugliness on me.

Sending you hugs.


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